Jay-Z: Classic Or Dud?

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Artist of the Year according to at least one reader - but what do the rest of you think?

Tom, Tuesday, 9 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Jay-Z is an interesting case. I've never been fond of him, or even tolerant, really. There are some of his old freestyle demos available on Napster which he did with a fellow who's now dead and, according to one knowledgeable friend, he doesn't sound "too herb-ish." Which is to say that said friend finds him to be quite herb-ish to begin with. Some like him nontheless. However he's not artist of the year, that's for sure.

JM, Tuesday, 9 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Only if you demand both quality AND inescapability from one's artist of the year. He's certainly up near the top on either list alone I guess.

He might be canny foil-chooser of the year though - I mean, Timbaland *and* The Neptunes? What taste! What class!

Actually I'm more looking forward to hearing Mystikal's album than "Roc La Familia", Mystikal's voice-like-DMX-on-bad-acid notwithstanding, because the production duties are split between The Neptunes and Earthtone III. I mean, that's just gotta be the album of the year right there.

Tim, Tuesday, 9 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I would have no problems with Jay-Z if he would stay away from:

- musicals involving children

- Egyptian flutes

- women who can't sing

The fact that he's released some absolutely killer singles is completely offset by the fact that some of his other singles are screaming heaps of dung. I am impressed with how he writes, though (the process and not necessarily the results, although when he's on he's fantastic).

Dan Perry, Thursday, 11 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Fast approaching classic status, on "Dynasty" he even drops the irritating kids and the rest is beats, bass & and blazing horns Scorcese-style (don't know why a lot of tracks have that Goodfellas/Casino feel).

o.munoz, Monday, 15 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Subject line a misnomer of course; it depends on how, when and where. Large chunks of "Dynasty" are terribly by-the-numbers and predictable, and "Anything" is of course excruciating and impossible to hear without throwing up. At best, he's untouchable. "Is That Yo Bitch" is unstoppable, and 95% of the Life & Times album is awesome. But 50% of him is only as good or as bad as his producers. That's not at all a criticism.

Robin Carmody, Monday, 15 January 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
Weird figure, that Jigga. When I first heard Volume 2: Hard Knock Life I was very disappointed, but I grew to like it more than most records. The thing is, Jay-Z is a hero for the times: he writes and raps equally well, he's a shrewd businessman (much as I hate to say it) and the producers he works with (especially Timba, Swizz and Rockwilder) save their best work for him. He's an interesting character, quiet and considered in interviews, quickly upset in clubs, treated with either extreme respect or absolute contempt depending on which bunch of hiphop fans you speak to. And yet...he drops the hot records, drives the fast cars, rocks the most ice - what are these discussions to him?

Laavanyan Ratnapalan, Saturday, 17 March 2001 01:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

seven years pass...

http://www.timeout.com/london/music/features/5088/Jay-Z-interview.html

good interview.

titchyschneiderMk2, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 11:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

I certainly wish I could wear glasses like wot he was wearing at Glasto without looking like ein tit.

PS 'Hello Brooklyn 2.0' is the fckn shiznit

linea, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 11:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

"When I listen to Amy Winehouse, I believe that her heart and soul is in the music, or if I listen to other British artists like Duffy or Estelle."

^^ wonder if he's aware of the "controversy" around this.

banriquit, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 11:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

Never piss off a potential guest verse customer.

Noodle Vague, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 12:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

saw him live yesterday. SUCKED

rizzx, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 12:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

he did 'American Boy'

rizzx, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 12:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

and 'Umbrella'

rizzx, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 12:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2008/oct/25/jay-z-imagine

how is jay-z managing to get so much attention from the mainstream? esp when his peak was several years ago? fucking bizarre. he must have some phenomenal PR muscle behind him.

titchyschneiderMk2, Sunday, 26 October 2008 13:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

he's been saying all along that the goal of his "post-retirement" stuff was to expand his audience beyond hip-hop listeners.

i guess it's been working.

then again its not like annual #1 singles make for an underground rapper.

8 HOOS Dog (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Sunday, 26 October 2008 16:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

he's been saying all along that the goal of his "post-retirement" stuff was to expand his audience beyond hip-hop listeners.

― 8 HOOS Dog (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Sunday, 26 October 2008 16:24 (4 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

By which he meant "Europeans"?

Carrie Bradshaw Layfield (The stickman from the hilarious 'xkcd' comics), Sunday, 26 October 2008 16:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

Not a zing, I honestly think that's what it's a codeword for.

Carrie Bradshaw Layfield (The stickman from the hilarious 'xkcd' comics), Sunday, 26 October 2008 16:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

how is jay-z managing to get so much attention from the mainstream? esp when his peak was several years ago? fucking bizarre. he must have some phenomenal PR muscle behind him.

― titchyschneiderMk2, Sunday, October 26, 2008 9:22 AM (3 hours ago) Bookmark

I posted this to the clueless questions thread, fyi.

Tyrone Quattlebaum (Hurting 2), Sunday, 26 October 2008 17:09 (eight years ago) Permalink

the assertion that Reasonable Doubt is "recognised as one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever" is straight-up bull fritters.

RONG

Tyrone Quattlebaum (Hurting 2), Sunday, 26 October 2008 17:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

Pete Cashmore's an odd one. He's absolutely useless, but he does have a very "rap journalist" name, so he retains his pass.

Carrie Bradshaw Layfield (The stickman from the hilarious 'xkcd' comics), Sunday, 26 October 2008 17:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

he was otm with everything else, just not the thing about RD not being a classic album.

titchyschneiderMk2, Sunday, 26 October 2008 19:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

i remember reading that and wanting to write in. surely he could have at least googled some rap top 10 lists or something? it's not like it's a weird idea to think RD is that good

t_g, Sunday, 26 October 2008 20:04 (eight years ago) Permalink

im probably in the minority of people who think vol 2 is a better reflection of who jay-z is/was in terms of what he brought to/did to hip-hop but rd is still good.

titchyschneiderMk2, Sunday, 26 October 2008 22:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

Excellent programme - some absorbing talk from the Hova about his life, his methods of working and his likes and loves, and plenty of Glasto footage.

Good for Yentob - it could have been a disaster but he seemed genuinely into it.

Highly recommended.

synths and drum machines (e.g. Simmonds) (Marcello Carlin), Wednesday, 29 October 2008 09:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

i.e. the Imagine documentary on BBC1 last night. Public service broadcasting doing what it ought to do.

synths and drum machines (e.g. Simmonds) (Marcello Carlin), Wednesday, 29 October 2008 09:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

^^^^^
this. the glasto footage had the hairs on the back of my neck standing up.

or something, Wednesday, 29 October 2008 10:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

I often find myself catching on to new little nuances in Jay-Z lyrics. Maybe I'm just slow on them to begin with, dunno. But I was just thinking about the line "Fresh out the frying pan into the fire/I be the music biz number one supplier." And I always heard that line as a nice little "rap game/crack game" thing, but I took the frying pan/fire part as kind of a throwaway, and it didn't occur to me until now that it was part of the same analogy.

IMO it's things like that that make Jay-Z a great rapper. He almost never wastes time with easy "I x like [guy who does x]" or "I'm x [because it rhymes with the next line]"-type lines unless there are several additional layers of meaning going on.

The Corner Stander, The Suggest Ban Hammer (Hurting 2), Friday, 18 February 2011 21:42 (six years ago) Permalink

five years pass...

it's funny, it's been so long now since he's done anything but listening to Vol 2 Hard Knock Life today and goddamn he was really something

Ride or Die's verses are so mindblowing

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 15 December 2016 16:46 (nine months ago) Permalink

though the album's ongoing conceit that memphis bleek is getting ready to take over the family business for jay is p funny in retrospect (though honestly hand it down and esp. coming of age (da sequel) are really amazing)

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Thursday, 15 December 2016 16:47 (nine months ago) Permalink

eight months pass...

the Rap Radar podcasts on Tidal with Elliot Wilson and Jay are pretty fucking amazing, the most open he's ever been and just to hear him talk about the music business is pretty amazing, especially when he talks about stuff like Magna Carta and the deal he made w/Samsung, not counting Tidal streams or illegal downloads on Billboard, basically just the idea that he looks at stuff by the money, like I create this work and I am going to do it the best way at the time, like he got $10M cash for Magna Carta from Samsung...how many artists get that (after royalties, managers, label costs, video costs etc etc) for a big record?

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 8 September 2017 13:40 (one week ago) Permalink


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